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Cricket: Kent held up by Derbyshire defiance

PUBLISHED: 18:49 30 August 2018 | UPDATED: 18:49 30 August 2018

Cricket balls for sale at The Spitfire Ground, Canterbury (pic Gareth Fuller/PA)

Cricket balls for sale at The Spitfire Ground, Canterbury (pic Gareth Fuller/PA)

PA Archive/PA Images

Kent’s promotion drive ran into a Derbyshire roadblock on another day of batting dominance in the Division Two County Championship match at Derby.

After Kent had amassed 561 with Grant Stewart scoring 85 and Matt Henry a career-best 81 from 75 balls, Derbyshire made a spirited reply to close on 210-2, 351 behind.

Billy Godleman scored 71 and Wayne Madsen an unbeaten 60 on a lifeless pitch although Derbyshire seamer Tony Palladino finished with 5-113, the 15th five-wicket haul of his career.

Kent’s first target at the start of day two was 400 and they secured maximum batting points for the first time this season with seven overs to spare before Stewart and Henry moved into overdrive.

Palladino found some away movement to have Daniel Bell-Drummond caught behind for 44 but for the rest of the morning, the ball sped towards and over the ropes as the eighth wicket pair added 119 in 20 overs.

Derbyshire’s bowlers were unable to apply any pressure as Stewart and Henry moved into overdrive with Henry launching consecutive balls from leg-spinner Matt Critchley into the car park.

The New Zealander, who played for Derbyshire in last season’s T20, pulled Alex Hughes for a third six before the seamer broke the stand by bowling Stewart for an excellent 85 four overs before lunch.

Kent had scored 169 runs in the session and Henry pulled Palladino for another six to pass his previous highest score of 75 before he skied a pull to point.

Adam Riley fell to the next ball to give Palladino his fifth five wicket haul against Kent but Derbyshire now had a lot of batting to do to reach the follow-on target of 412.

But the pitch had offered little for the bowlers and Godleman and Lace began confidently with the 20-year-old on-loan Middlesex batsman playing with authority on his first-class debut.

Lace looked secure in defence and he hit seven fours before Ivan Thomas brought one back enough to trap him in front shortly before tea.

Godleman had scored his first championship century of the season in the previous game at Hove and with Madsen playing positively from the start, Kent were becoming increasingly desperate for a wicket.

Thomas did the trick again when he was brought back at the City End and his second ball beat Godleman’s defensive push and knocked back the off-stump.

Derbyshire needed Madsen to be there at stumps and he batted through the final 12 overs in company with Hughes to suggest Kent’s bowlers have a lot of hard toil ahead of them in this match.

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